You have many rights and benefits as a worker in Washington State. Learn how you are protected by law and what to do if you feel your rights have been violated.
You have a right to earn a fair wage for work you do. Washington’s current minimum wage is $14.49 per hour for most workers. Some parts of our state have a higher minimum wage. Your pay cannot be based on your gender according to the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act.
Rest Periods and Meal Breaks
You can take a paid break for every 4 hours worked and a meal break for any shifts lasting over 5 hours. If you’re a nursing mother, you have a right to take more frequent breaks under federal law.
Safety and Health
It is your right to work in safe conditions that are not harmful to your health. You can access free health and safety training to prevent workplace injuries.
If you’re injured while working, you can file a claim to receive benefits such as medical care and wage replacement until you can return to work.
Paid Sick Leave
Employers in Washington State must provide you with one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours that you work. This policy applies to you regardless of your employee status as a full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal worker.
You are entitled to take time off work for certain situations with the security that you can return to your same job. Protected leave includes domestic violence, caring for your sick child, pregnancy, bonding with your baby, your spouse is called to active duty, and serving as an emergency service worker.
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
You have a right to a work environment free from harassment and discrimination of any kind. If you experience harassment or discrimination, you can file a complaint with the state.
It is against the law for a business to fire or retaliate against you for exercising a protected right. You can file a complaint for issues relating to wages, rest breaks and meal periods, child labor, uniforms, and retaliation and termination without fear of repercussions.
There are benefits available to you if you’ve lost your job or are unable to work due to health issues or sickness.
Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)
If you get sick, or need to take time off work to care for a sick family member, this state-funded program can provide financial assistance.
If you’ve lost your job through no fault of your own, unemployment benefits can provide temporary income while you look for work. Unemployment assistance is funded through a federal-state partnership.